Renewable Energy in Australia

Australian Energy Sector

Renewable energy is generated from natural resources that are constantly replenished, including sunlight, wind, geothermal heat, water, tides and various forms of biomass.

Many countries around the world have started using renewable sources for energy production due to the environmental problems caused by burning fossil fuels, including climate change and the depletion of the ozone layer. Moreover, the growing demand for energy and the continuous depletion of non-renewable energy sources, such as oil, gas and coal, coupled with the rapidly decreasing costs of solar and wind, are leading to increased development in renewable generation.

In 2018 over 260,000 Gigawatt Hours (GWh) of energy were generated in Australia, most of this energy was produced by fossil fuels, but renewable sources contributed almost 50,000 GWh of energy, an increase of 25% from 2017. Wind power (6% of total generation) and solar power (5% of total generation) accounted for the largest part of this growth. As such, Australia has one of the highest rates of renewable energy development in the world.

Renewable energy generation by technology type

Hydro 35.2%
Wind 33.5%
Small scale solar PV 19.5%
Bioenergy 7.1%
Large scale solar PV 3.9%
Medium scale solar PV 0.8%

Annual electricity generation in Australia 2018

Fossil fuels 79.0%
Renewables 21.0%

Renewable energy penetration by state

Tasmania 95.9%
South Australia 53.0%
Victoria 20.6%
Western Australia 16.2%
New South Wales 15.0%
Queensland 9.5%

Australian state and territory governments have shown active support in increasing renewable energy generation. They have adopted individual renewable energy goals and have created policies full of incentives to support investments.

Tasmania and the ACT have set targets of running on 100% renewable energy by 2022 and 2020 respectively. Though no official target has been set, SA is on track for 73% renewable generation by 2020. Queensland set a target of 50% by 2030, and Victoria 40% by 2025.

The need for renewable energy and its benefits for the environment and Australia’s economy, cannot be overestimated. We are proud that Nowa Energia Australia is a part of it.